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Jesper Jakobson Kyd (born 1972) is a Danish-born video game and film score composer who was acclaimed for composing music for the Hitman series.

Biography

Early life

Jesper Jakobson Kyd was born in Hørsholm, Denmark on 3 February 1972. By age 14,[1] during the early days of video games, Kyd, together with his friends began composing and experimenting with 8-bit music. They made demos for the European market, demonstrating what the Commodore 64 and Amiga could do. Essentially creating small music videos on them.[2]

In 1992, Kyd co-founded the video game developer Zyrinx which was later bought by publisher Scavenger, Inc. Zyrinx developed Sub-Terrania, Red Zone, and Scorcher before dissolving when Scavenger went bankrupt in 1998.[1]

Assassin's Creed

In 2007, Kyd won a competition ran by Ubisoft for composers. He was then given the opportunity to compose the soundtrack for Assassin's Creed. Kyd sent Ubisoft a demo and the Assassin's Creed creative team chose it as the best out of the other entries. Kyd described the process for creating the soundtrack as hard, as it was the first game they did everything from scratch. Kyd took inspiration from the 21st century aspect and how the Animus works. 3 hours of soundtrack was initially made, differing in all locations and depending on what Altaïr, the protagonist, was doing. The 3 hours of score was eventually cut down to only 40 minutes.[2] Kyd was able to instill his immersive style and cinematic scoring techniques into the game's interior meditation and stealth modes, while also capturing the action, combat and escape sequences with measured tone that crescendos into a fast-paced fervor.[3] Assassin's Creed was then released on 14 November 2007.

After the success of the first game, selling over 8 million copies by 2009, the Assassin's Creed franchise began. Ubisoft quickly starting developing a sequel, Assassin's Creed II and brought Kyd back to compose the soundtrack. Assassin's Creed II, now set in Renaissance-era Italy with a different protagonist, Ezio, needed a different sound for the score. Kyd was also given much more creative freedom as they had learned from the creation of the first and experimented more with the music. Ubisoft did not want authentic Renaissance-era as they thought it would bore the players, instead instructing Kyd to modernize it slightly.[2]

Jesper's deviation from the first game's soundtrack was to reflect the change in character, story and setting for the sequel. The score's new direction was that of adventure and drama, crafted with a melodic, acoustic and progressive musical palette.[3] Assassin's Creed II was then released on 17 November 2009.

In 2010, Kyd returned again to compose the soundtrack for the third game in the series, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. This was confirmed by producer Vincent Pontbriand in an interview with UGDB.com.[4] The score for Brotherhood called for a more dark theme to reflect the antagonistic House of Borgia and their aspirations. Kyd lent more into actual Renaissance music for the score also, drawing more inspiration from the era.[5] Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was then released on 16 November 2010.

In 2011, Kyd composed the sountrack for Assassin's Creed: Revelations, which he shared credit with composer Lorne Balfe. During this arrangement, Kyd composed the background music for the single-player portion of the game, while Balfe handled the main theme, the single-player cutscenes, and the music for the game's multiplayer.[6]

Kyd did not return for Assassin's Creed III, released on 30 October 2012, for which the sole composer was Lorne Balfe.[7] Kyd cited the reason being, was that Assassin's Creed III was going in another direction, and having being happy with the four titles he'd composed left the next one completely in Balfe's capable hands.[2]

In 2019, on the 10th anniversary of the release of Assassin's Creed II, Kyd released 17 previously unreleased tracks via his SoundCloud. Many are alternate variants of the existing tracks from the soundtrack.[8]

In May 2020, Jesper Kyd was announced to be returning as composer for the soundtrack for Assassin's Creed Valhalla alongside Sarah Schachner, who previously composed the soundtracks for Assassin's Creed: Origins, and a new composer, Einar Selvik, who had previously composed for the television series Vikings.[9]

Assassin's Creed works

  • Assassin's Creed (2007)
    • City of Jerusalem
    • Flight Through Jerusalem
    • Spirit of Damascus
    • Trouble In Jerusalem
    • Acre Underworld
    • Access the Animus
    • Dunes of Death
    • Masyaf In Danger
    • Meditation Begins
    • Meditation of the Assassin
    • The Bureau
  • Assassin's Creed II (2009)
    • Earth (Heart)
    • Venice Rooftops
    • Ezio's Family
    • Florence Tarantella
    • Home In Florence
    • Approaching Target 1
    • Approaching Target 2
    • Venice Fight
    • Florence Escape
    • Tour Of Venice
    • Flight Over Venice
    • Back In Venice
    • Dream Of Venice
    • Home Of The Brotherhood
    • Leonardo's Inventions Part 1
    • Venice Combat Low
    • Venice Escape
    • Darkness Falls In Florence
    • Sanctuary
    • The Madam
    • Approaching The Target 3
    • Flight Over Venice 2
    • Ezio In Florence
    • Venice Industry
    • Stealth
    • Venice Combat
    • Notorious
    • Night Mission In Venice
    • Chariot Chase
    • The Plague
    • Wetlands Combat
    • Wetlands Escape
    • Leonardo's Inventions Part 2
    • Hideout
    • The Animus 2.0
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010)
    • Master Assassin
    • City of Rome
    • Cesare Borgia
    • Flags of Rome
    • The Brotherhood Escapes
    • Brotherhood of Assassins
    • The Pantheon
    • Villa Under Attack
    • Echoes of the Roman Ruins
    • Borgia Tower
    • Borgia Occupation
    • Roman Underworld
    • Countdown
    • Borgia - The Rulers of Rome
    • Ezio Confronts Lucrezia
    • Battle in Spain
    • Fight of the Assassins
    • Desmond Miles
    • VR Room
    • Apple Chamber
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations (2011)
    • Animus Island
    • The Wounded Eagle
    • The Noose Tightens
    • Welcome to Kostantiniyye
    • The Crossroads of the World
    • No Mistakes
    • The Traitor
    • Ambush
    • Byzantium
    • Nova Roma
    • Templar Occupation
    • On the Attack
    • Yerebatan Cistern
    • Fight or Flight
    • Galata Tower
    • Die By the Blade
    • Forum of Ox
  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (2020)
    • TBA

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia Jesper Kyd on Wikipedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Price, Andy (08-10-2018). Jesper Kyd Interview – Revelations. MusicTech. Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved on June 20, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed II. Jesper Kyd. Archived from the original on February 21, 2019. Retrieved on June 20, 2020.
  4. Evoker (14-09-2010). Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - Interview. UGDB.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2020.
  5. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Jesper Kyd. Archived from the original on March 7, 2019. Retrieved on June 20, 2020.
  6. Imdb Jesper Kyd at the Internet Movie Database
  7. Twitter Lorne Balfe (@Lornebalfe) on Twitter "@Azialos just me." (backup link) (screenshot)
  8. Suddi, Aran (19-11-2019). Assassin’s Creed II’s 10th anniversary brings some new game music tracks. The Sixth Axis. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved on May 1, 2020.
  9. Tolbert, Samuel (11-05-2020). Assassin's Creed 2 composer Jesper Kyd returns for Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Windows Central. Archived from the original on May 19, 2020. Retrieved on May 11, 2020.

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